A comedy about what happens when the NSA make the mistake of looking through a writer’s search history.
INSERT TITLE: The following is based on actual events. All
dialogue is quoted verbatim. All action is presented exactly
as it happened.
EXT. COFFEE HOUSE – NIGHT
The seats overflow with PATRONS, young and hip, their faces
lit by smartphones and tablets.
There’s heavy foot traffic. A rainbow of skinny jeans and
bandanas. Every face is a pin cushion full of piercings.
Every arm is a blur of sleeve tattoos. One side of the
Patrons’ heads are shaved. The other sides are bleached or
DRIVERS lay on their HORNS. The gridlock stretches across
the windows. A SUBWOOFER blares. The bass sends ripples
through the coffee cups.
A fist SLAMS down on the metal. A tray lifts up, ashes burst
into the air. They land on an iPad on the other end of the
table. It’s owner lifts it up to his face.
DREW, unshaven, unkempt, looks like he’s been 29 for a long
time, blows the ashes from his precious tech. He reaches
into his pocket, produces a keychain light, and checks the
ports for signs of damage.
A napkin falls over the side of the table and glides to the
ground. It’s covered in dotted lines and X’s. Continue reading Keane & Drew Argue About Time Travel
This is a story about my first attempt to wow people with my work. I was a kindergartner hosting a Halloween carnival in the middle of July. I poured my heart and soul into the project and got negative returns.
There’s a lesson to be learned in failure: if at first you don’t succeed, you’re doing it wrong. If humiliation teaches us anything it’s how to wear humiliation better. Every artist has to learn to take feed back. Every artist has to develop a callus around their heart, a skin so thick they could stop bullets with it.
This is a piece for those people brave enough to put themselves out there. The ones who go out among the trolls seeking validation. The ones whose bright eyes never dim. The ones who no matter how many times you knock them down, they scramble back up to their feet, and brush their shoulders off.
This is for the people who look to the Internet and say, “I have something valid to contribute and I’m going to keep trying until it finally resonates with someone.”
If this makes us fools. Let’s be fools together.
(Download the instrumental version here)
For those of you who prefer the straight vocal recording, without the music, check out the link below.
Persuading yourself to write is like pulling off a long con. You play the parts of both the mark and the convincer. The mark has something you want, time and dedication. Neither you, nor they, want to give those things up willingly. Time scheduled is time spent, and you want to keep your options open. You’ve got a Netflix queue that isn’t going to watch itself. Dedication requires persistence, and you already have enough on your plate. No one wants to feel like they’re clocking into a second job.
You’ll have to swindle the time and dedication out of yourself. You’ll have to get yourself to write without realizing that you’re doing it.
Don’t spend too much time on foundation work, or you’ll get wise to what you’re up to. You’ll see all of those character biographies and get nervous about meeting new people. You’ll see the settings mapped out and your agoraphobia will kick in. You’ll see the scene list and imagine your calendar filling up with X’s. If you let yourself realize how daunting the task of writing can be, you won’t want to do it. Continue reading Grift the Words Out of You
The room is dark. The air is thick with a musky scent. The aroma is intoxicating. Not like a fine wine is intoxicating, like chloroform is intoxicating. The fragrance is familiar, but it’s the purest version I’ve ever smelt. It starts sweet, rises to a head, and finishes spicy.
I’d swear I was lying in a fresh meadow, if it wasn’t for the chair rocking beneath me, or the door creaking open on its rusty hinge.
My eyes water through the lids. It’s a struggle to keep them squeezed shut. The odor fills me with each breath. My mind slips. I’m dizzy with pungent petals. The smell clogs my nostrils with sugar, fills my mouth with cinnamon, and pours pepper down my throat.
I’d swear I was buried in a bed of roses, if it wasn’t for the twist ties digging into my wrists, and the footfalls echoing around me.
Writers are always on call, in case inspiration strikes. It doesn’t matter if it’s an inopportune time. We toss on our thinking caps and we get the job done. It might strike while we’re in the shower, while we’re behind the wheel, or while we’re operating heavy machinery.
Writers have to spring into action, to jot their ideas down before they can go wild. It’s for the public good that we do this. It’s for your protection.
It doesn’t matter if we’re in bed. It doesn’t matter if we’re at a dinner party. It doesn’t matter if we’re on the clock. When inspiration makes its presence known, we writers have to do something about it.
This is a story about when inspiration struck while I was at work, and how I struck back.
The music was inspired by Ennio Morricone’s theme for The Thing. A bass synth pulses through the piece like a heartbeat. The melody creeps by just underneath the rhythm. The story has a mock-horror tone. What better way to convey that than with an homage to the scores of John Carpenter movies?
I’m very happy with how this one turned out.
I decided to keep mom and dad in the dark about the project. Investors have a way of meddling with an artist’s vision. I wanted to retain creative control. I was an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs don’t ask for their parents’ permission. Once they saw what a hit it could be, no one would make me apologize for success.
Writing a novel is like being in a relationship with a high maintenance person. Novels want all of your free time. They want the leading role in you day planner. They want you to take them everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re out with friends that you never get to see, your novel has something to say and you’re going to listen. Sneak your phone out and type a few paragraphs.
Your Novel looks at your short stories and says, “Who’s that then? They seem pretty cute? Is there something going on between the two of you that I should know about?”
Looking back on your relationship, your novel is never what you thought it was. The ruby colored glasses come off and you see all the edits you’re going to have to make, all the couple’s retreats and all the counseling. You will constantly doubt if it’s all worth it.
Then publishing your novel is like planing a wedding. First you have to find a place. Then they have to set a date. Then you have to send out the invites. It is work.
Like any relationship, writing a novel takes commitment.
This audio short is about what happens when you think you don’t have what it takes to see that commitment through. It’s my third piece to feature music. The first two were poems this is a fully realized short story. Enjoy!
Quitting smoking introduced me to a new side of my personality. There was a thunder cloud where my aura ought to be. It drove my nails into my palms at the first sign of conflict. There’s Dr. Jekyll, there’s Mr. Hyde and then there’s Sir Nicotine Withdrawal. Guess which one would win in a fight?
I found myself grinding my teeth at the announcement of each new homework assignment, gripping the desk, like the Hulk preparing to launch a car into a building. I saved my short supply of nicotine gum for just such an occasion. These anger attacks weren’t justified by any slight against me, they just were.
This got me thinking about the nature of anger, how I’m predisposed to feel it, with or without cigarettes.
Sometimes my Subconscious Mind just observes something, a song or a fashion trend, and says, “I hate that.”
My Conscious Mind says, “Care to explain why you hate that? Could you show me the data that brought you to said conclusion?”
My Subconscious frowns, shakes it’s head, a child who didn’t get the toy he wanted. He says, “I hate it therefore you hate it. We both hate it.”
My Conscious Mind sighs. His exhale whistles through his teeth like a tea kettle. He says, “You don’t know a thing about the thing you hate, but you want to make up both our minds for us.”
My Subconscious nods, “And I’ll keep bring it up until I get my way.”
This 2 minute audio short is about that internal arguement our conscious minds have with our subconscious, our super-egos with our ids, our brains versus our guts. It’s the 2nd audio short to feature haunting music and won’t be the last. Enjoy! Continue reading The Baseless Hate (Audio Short)
The forest is alive with nodding treetops. They’ve come to a consensus. Each of them agree to throw their branches up into the air, to cast their pinecones into the night. Each of them creak as they bow to one another. Their trunks bend, their leafs curtsy. They dance. We have a good view from our place on the prairie. We watch the current cascade through them. It looks like an evergreen chorus line, especially when the trees kick up their skirts, and something comes rushing out. Continue reading The Night the Moon Came Down to Earth